Hot Docs 2014 Review: Super Duper Alice Cooper
A rather simplistic metaphor runs through Super Duper Alice Cooper in which the titular rock star struggles with balancing the persona he has created and the one that is his true self and slowly disappearing.
It’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, but this allusion, like so much of the storytelling, goes only surface deep.
Cooper narrates his own story, and none of those interviewed – bandmates, producers, peers – ever appear on camera. It’s a trick that works out well, but you also can’t help but wonder if seeing the rock legends today take you out of the exciting past.
Instead this journey relies on bringing in the viewer with visuals as much as the music itself. Bringing to life pictures and incorporating plenty of live show footage, including from the infamous Toronto show, Super Duper Alice Cooper is well-crafted, but only entertaining in spits and spurts.
It’s an 85-minute journey from childhood to the present, as Vincent Furnier transforms into a shocking, iconic, glam rock superstar, but in its attempt to appeal to faithful fans and those unfamiliar, the film falls in between and subsequently serves neither side.
More style than substance, we follow a rather formulaic narrative arc: a slow ascension; an immersion in stardom; a fall; a rise again; a fall again; and one last rise. Elton John and Dee Snider off brief thoughts, and we catch glimpses of Joplin and Hendrix, but there isn’t anything revealing or juicy; just loud music and outlandish attire.